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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Journal of Sedimentary Research (SEPM)


Journal of Sedimentary Petrology
Vol. 56 (1986)No. 6. (November), Pages 763-770

Diagenetic Stabilization of Aragonite and Low-Mg Calcite, II. Stable Isotopes in Rudists

Ihsan S. Al-Aasm, Jan Veizer


Cretaceous rudists, having thick, multilayered bimineralic (aragonite and low-Mg calcite) shells, have been studied for the effects of phreatic/vadose meteoric diagenesis on their microstructural and isotopic attributes. Rudist skeletal components with preserved original mineralogy of aragonite and low-Mg calcite, and with preserved microstructures, have isotopic signatures analogous to Holocene marine bivalves. This similarity argues for a comparable isotopic composition of the Cretaceous and Holocene seawater, as well as for a similar mode of incorporation of stable isotopes into their shells. Diagenetic stabilization of rudist shells appears to have been a two-stage process, with low-Mg calcite ^rarr diagenetic calcite (LMC ^rarr dLMC), and particularly aragonite ^rarr diagenetic calcite (A ^rarr dLMC), transformation as the first step and cementation as a later development. The direct A ^rarr dLMC mineralogical transformation (= calcitization) results in initial depletion in 18O of <=2^pmil and the subsequent diagenetic precipitation of ferroan calcite spar causes depletion in 13C as well as an additional decrease in 18O; the former due to introduction of organically derived CO2 into the diagenetic aquifer. In contrast, 13O and 13C isotopic depletions in the originally LMC skeletal components are both related to the precipitation of the late diagenetic ferroan sparry calcite cement, the earlier calcitization stage being of subordinate importance only.

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